posted by Eugenia Loli on Tue 29th Mar 2005 19:32 UTC

"Installer, Page 8/9"
9. Do you have plans to automate more parts of the installation process? (e.g. create new users via it, have a curses front-end for configuration instead of having to edit rc.conf, etc?)

Judd Vinet: Not really. A lot of people like our current installation script. One thing I'd like to have is a "kickstart" style setup for sysadmins who install linux in labs or other settings where each install is more-or-less identical.

Jan de Groot: I don't use the installer at all because I don't really like it, I use a modified quickinst script I use too to set up my build chroots. If we would improve the installer with configuration support, we should also go the same way as debian went with their debconf database. Since we don't want to hack around in people's configuration files, the installer won't get improved in this way.

Tobias Kieslich: The positive effect of the "limited" means of the installer is that people are forced to read the basic documentation. This prevents from asking needles questions and indeed I don't see so many questions regarding how the installer works. Although I personally don't need it, adding support for more file systems and a better i18n would be nice since users request it from time to time.

I don't see the need of configuration front-ends - this would be a totally different and partially contrary approach of the system administration than we have it now with rc.conf and friends. I don't even think it would be useful for newbies. A configuration front-end for admins to get the daily work done is another thing, which shouldn't be provided out of the box and included in the installer. But there are no plans of which I know. Also I don't like to see IRC quotes from users to newbies: "Install easyadmin and you are done..." These people come back and ask other simple things they could get easily from the docs.

For administration of bigger installations I think the support of easier system cloning would be nice, although much could be done via simple shellscripts, thanks to pacman's capabilities. Or a rapid install tool that takes a list of settings like hostname, IP, users etc. and installs a bunch of boxes without confirmation for every point. Oh, unlimited resources ...

Damir Perisa: I'm not involved in the Arch Installer but here my opinion on it: The only feature enhancements in the installer i would find usefull is the handling of more filesystems and exotic devices and a better internationalisation handling. I see no reason to create users via the installer, use a frontend for the configs or mess with other things that are good to left being simple. Everybody who is willing to learn how to do it, will be able to edit a file and use the correct command to create users and groups. What i see that should be done is to work on the documentation to make it even more evident for newcommers that their learning is simpler and faster with less effort. That's also why i said that i plan to work on the docs. I convinced a lot of non-linux users to use linux and i got very positive input from them about how simple archlinux is when you get used to it. The only negative input i got is that the docs of archlinux are a little bit chaotic and you need some time to find the informations you need. By my opinion Arch is a great distro for newbies that are willing to learn. The quote that comes to my mind is: "Give a person a fish and you fed her/him for a day, teach this person fishing and she/he will have a more confortable life."

Dale Blount: I'd hope not. Arch isn't for the beginner and if we make it easier to install, the average user will be confused after install time.

Jason Chu: That depends, if the automation is created to cover up parts of the process that are "too complicated" or "too much to learn", then no. Everyone should want to learn and understand. Then again, if it's to help a lazy (in the positive sense of the word) admin keep their sanity, then yes.

Tobias Powalowski: Arch should support more filesystems, more hardware while installing and ntfs resizing support would also be a great feature. I think we have an automation script on the installer cd, haven't we?

Aurelien Foret: To date, no... but contributions are welcome ;)

Table of contents
  1. "Passion, Page 1/9"
  2. "Challenges, Page 2/9"
  3. "Popularity, Page 3/9"
  4. "Maintainance, Page 4/9"
  5. "Development, Page 5/9"
  6. "Pacman, Page 6/9"
  7. "CVS, Commercialism, Page 7/9"
  8. "Installer, Page 8/9"
  9. "Arch Vs The World, Page 9/9"
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